Call to Action #67


 67. We call upon the federal government to provide full funding to the Canadian Museums Association to undertake, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, a national review of museum policies and best practices to determine the level of compliance with the United NationsDeclaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and to make recommendations.


A national review of museum policies carried out in collaboration between the Canadian Museums Association and Aboriginal peoples would in hope, address and solve aboriginal concerns surrounding museums and their portrayal of Aboriginal history and culture. In the past, policies and practices of numerous Canadian museums have failed to portray an accurate representation of Aboriginal history. In 1989, the Task Force on Museums and First peoples was established. This was an initiative between the Canadian Museum Association and the Assembly of First peoples and it was created for similar purposes as this recommendation calls for a review of museum policies and practices. The policies and practices of Canadian museums need to be compliant with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, including things like accurate historical portrayal. The dilemma that has occurred frequently throughout the course of aboriginal representation in museum institutions has been the effect that aboriginal culture remains “frozen in time”. One of the articles of the Unites Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is the right to “develop the past, present and future manifestations of their culture”, meaning the lack of contemporary representation in museums is going aboriginal culture a disservice by creating the perceived illusion their culture is isolated in the past. Collaboration with aboriginal peoples as part of this nation review will hopefully created a renewed sense of contemporary aboriginal culture and improve ways of modern representation.


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Compiled by: Emily Macleod

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